This pandemic economic turmoil has hit people not only in their wallets, but also in their bread baskets.
With more than 30 million unemployed on July 4 (the latest figures are available), the pressure on low-income people has grown by the number in that category.
Besides decreasing income is a problem of food insecurity. Weekly poll data from the Census Bureau showed that over the past 12 weeks, the percentage of adults in households who reported that “sometimes” or “often” there was not enough to eat in the last seven days had gone up from 9.8% to 12.1%.
By the way, 12.1% of adults – who make up 77.7% of the estimated 323,239,523 populations—There are about 30.4 million people who cannot rely on food.
If there is, it will likely get worse. The extended $ 600 weekly federal unemployment payment has ended and is completed. It takes at least one or two weeks for a replacement to start over, and it may take much longer.
If Republicans have their way, payments with a reduction of $ 200 will be 45% of substitute income, which is money people make before they lose their jobs.
They cannot just get another job because this country does not have enough positions. At the end of May (again, the latest statistics), there is 5.4 million open jobs and 29.3 million people in all forms of unemployment insurance put together.
That’s 5.4 people per job—assumption that everyone does any work and everyone is near work that is compatible or ready to move. Realistically, there are even fewer opportunities for someone to find a new job.
Congress, or, more precisely, the Senate, has dragged its collective foot on fiscal stimulus since the Parliament passed a bill in May.
Yes, people lose extended benefits that help keep going. Individuals have no protection against eviction for those who are behind payments because they first lost income and now the assistance they receive in a brutal economy.
They also lack food. Above adults, you can guess how many children have to anticipate a meal that might never arrive.
Food insecurity is bitter and destructive. How sharp are you when you don’t have time to eat lunch until evening? What if you can’t count on making up dinner that night?
Nutrition helps people think and act more clearly and effectively. Money flows through the local economy and helps finance payment work, which in turn, helps reduce the need for assistance. It’s like jumping over the environment.
And then there is strange puzzles on Capitol Hill as Laura Reiley of the Washington Post noted. The proposed Republican Act – “Health, Economic Aid, Protection of Obligations and School Law,” or HEALS, Act – does not extend the Additional Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), one of the most efficient and effective ways of helping people get out of poverty situations.
HEALS also failed to extend the Pandemic EBT program, which provides debit card funds for those whose children are temporarily losing food assistance at their school.
But don’t think the Senate is truly heartless. It does protect the tax reduction for business meals. Doubling it, actually. The reduction, Reiley noted, was called “the reduction of three lunch-martinis.”
Let them drink cocktails.
It is difficult for many people who feel very comfortable in Congress to sympathize with the poor and oppressed. That requires “action or capacity to enter or share the feelings or interests of others,” according to Merriam-Webster, with the main “sharing” aspect.
Sympathy requires a sense of family. You have been through what the other party has. Too many members in Congress are so far from ordinary people that they forget what it’s like to have family relations, except maybe with lobbyists and company executives who send campaign contributions.
Empathy, or the ability to imagine what other people are going through, may be related to the skill to see how much damage will occur if tens of millions of people are financially compromised, clearly in short supply.
But, there might be mistakes in all of this. Something simple, like a typo. It could be that the law was truly titled “Health, Economic Enlightenment, Protection of Obligations and Schools,” or the HEELS Law. It seems right.